A family of orcas entertained hundreds of onlookers when they visited the Viaduct Harbour in downtown Auckland today.

About five to 10 whales arrived in the harbour. Photo / Neil Hassall, NZMM
About five to 10 whales arrived in the harbour. Photo / Neil Hassall, NZMM

About five to 10 whales, including a mother and calves, arrived in the harbour about 3.30pm.

Maritime Museum spokesman Neil Hassall said the orcas stayed in the harbour for about 45 minutes.

Hundreds of people came to look at the family of orcas. Photo / Neil Hassall, NZMM
Hundreds of people came to look at the family of orcas. Photo / Neil Hassall, NZMM

The whales came within "just a couple of metres" of the museum pontoon.

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Hundreds of onlookers gathered along Princes Wharf, he said.

The whales stayed for around 45 minutes. Photo / Neil Hassall, NZMM
The whales stayed for around 45 minutes. Photo / Neil Hassall, NZMM

One onlooker said seagulls were taking advantage of the orcas' spoils by diving into the water.